Barbaro Updates: 210 – 220

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Update 220: The focus of the press conference was the new, significant problem of laminitis in the left hind foot. No doubt this will be widely covered by all the media. Barbaro’s current state is extremely serious however, he does remain comfortable. They will continue to work around the clock to try to overcome this setback as long as he remains comfortable. One issue that Dr. Richardson emphasized was that the Jacksons will not tolerate any discomfort for Barbaro. More to come later.
Updated Thursday 11:30am

Update 219: Jeannine Edwards will be broadcasting directly after the conference on ESPN 2 on a show that I think is called “Cold Pizza.” She’ll also be on ESPN news after that (not sure what time) and then SportsCenter at 6pm tonight. I would estimate about 70-80 people (writers, TV people etc etc) here at the conference awaiting Dr. Dean Richardson. Should be very soon.

Update 218: Just arrived at New Bolten Center…the parking lot is full. There are quite a few trucks- WGAL, News 8, Fox 29, NBC 10, Eyewitness 3. I spoke briefly to Jeannine Edwards from ESPN. This is actually the first time I’ve been to NBC since the accident. I’m looking in the lobby at the six huge cards for Barbaro from Churchill Downs. They’re covered with signatures and each one has the quote “Once a Derby winner, always a Derby winner. Get well soon Barbaro.” The news conference is scheduled to start in 10 minutes. Will update as soon as it’s over.

Update 217: OK, off to the Press Conference. Will report back when I am there etc! Wanted to thank Ed Foutaine for his kind mention of this site in the New York Post today. May be I’ll get to thank him in person. Also wanted to note that I saw Bobby’s older half brother this morning, Holy Ground. Emily (Michael Matz exercise rider) was riding him on the track. He is a four year old stakes winner I think. It seems many have interest in his younger siblings but are less aware of the oldest half brother.

Update 216: Spoke to Michael Matz this morning (thursday). It appears Bobby is still doing OK given all we know. I asked Michael a little more about the press conference this morning. He won’t be able to attend, but is aware that Dr. Dean Richardson will be very forthcoming with everything that is occuring (no surprise apparently if you know Dean). Michael also mentioned he received a very nice letter, which he gave to Peter (Brette) to give to me, that discussed this site. I’ll look forward to reading it. (Peter could not give it to me since he was on a horse, Michael was on Messaging and I was on one of Tim’s horses, whose “nickname” is also Bobby!) I am planning to attend the press conference.
update thursday, 7:15 am

Update 215: A new article from the Baltimore Sun, later in the day yesterday (10:34 pm): Derby winner Barbaro is ‘facing tough odds’ Infections impede horse’s recovery. Much of the content we are familiar with I think. The Mercury News carries an article that mentions the purpose of today’s press conference: Surgeon says Barbaro’s ‘facing tough odds’ (which I plan to attend), excerpt:

Addressing a rumor that the news conference was to announce that Barbaro would be put down as soon as Thursday night, Gretchen Jackson said that was unfounded.

“No, I guarantee that’s not going to happen unless something goes drastically wrong in the next 24 hours,” she said in a phone interview Wednesday night.

The purpose of the news conference, she said, was for Richardson to give a detailed update on the events of the last week. “It just seems fitting that Dean does the whole thing now.”

Lets hope Bobby has good comfort today and the Press Conference gives us some hope regarding his medical condition.

Update 214: Just spoke with Kathy Anderson. She visited Bobby at about 4 pm. She wanted to let me know that despite all the medical information that we are learning, Barbaro is comfortable. He appeared bright and she was encouraged. She gave Bobby about a half hour of good scratching, and when a nursing assistant was russling a plastic bag he misinterpretted this activity as dinner time; he was alert and looking for food. She called me as she really wanted to make sure everyone knew that despite all, he remains reasonably comfortable.

Update 213: Good Morning America is doing a piece on Bobby tomorrow morning. Jeannine Edwards let me know as we were discussing tomorrow’s press conference. (ABC owns ESPN or something like that). Jeannine left a comment clarifying ESPNs coverage of the press conference tomorrow and the reason for such a press conference:

Just to clarify for everyone, SportsCenter always sends a producer with the reporter when they cover any story. It’s always a tag-team situation. But normally someone would not fly in from TX, normally a regional person would make the trip from NY or DC. Perhaps no one in the area was available. ESPN takes the Barbaro situation very seriously and wants to cover it accurately and completely. We have no idea what will be discussed at tomorrow’s presser, but we have to be prepared for what could potentially be a worst-case scenario. New Bolton is being beseiged with phone calls right now, and rather than try to deal with each news org separately, it’s much easier to hold a press conference and give everyone as much info as possible in an orderly fashion. Pressers can be held for several reasons: 1) There is updated info to communicate, 2) There are inquiries and demands made on the facility and so they’re trying to accomodate everyone. We’ll know more tomorrow.

I am planning to attend the press conference scheduled for tomorrow. I hope they let me in. I did call New Bolton and asked if it was OK. They were aware of this site, and did not seem to mind.

The New York Post may be including a bit on this site tomorrow in its Barbaro coverage. (Eliza, I hope we have the bandwidth for that ?) As I was enjoying a couple of Tetleys at the Whip it seemed HRTV was running something on Bobby (sound was muted, but it seemed they were talking to Jeannine during some of the coverage).

Mike Rea seems to continue to improve, with plenty of visitors, Bruce Miller can see improvement in his condition.

Update 212: Just spoke to Peter Brette. He visited Bobby this afternoon (wednesday) and said he looks reasonably comfortable. Peter mentioned the press conference tomorrow, and the intent of the conference was for Dr. Richardson to detail everything that has occured over the last week or so. Keep all your positive energy for Bobby, he needs it.

Update 211: A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow (thursday) 11 am. Jeannine Edwards (ESPN) e-mailed me the following:

the presser is tomorrow at 11am. you can put on the site that sportscenter and espn news will be covering it…. no times yet, but it will be on the 6pm SC, and of course earlier on espn news during the day. they are flying a producer in from dallas to work with me tomorrow.

Update 210: The Baltimore Sun has this piece, timed: 2:17 pm today: Barbaro ‘facing tough odds,’ veterinarian says (thanks Sarah) copied in full:

Barbaro’s condition turned “potentially serious” again today, a day after the Kentucky Derby winner’s veterinarian gave a more upbeat report, saying the colt was stable and resting comfortably.

Dean Richardson, the chief surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, also said the colt faced “tough odds” and that doctors were looking at all possible treatments to keep the 3-year-old comfortable.

“Our entire staff is determined to do all they can for this magnificent horse,” Richardson said in a statement issued by the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals.

Barbaro, who shattered three bones in his right hind leg at the start of the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course on May 20, has undergone three surgical procedures in the past week. In the most recent one Saturday, Richardson replaced the titanium plate and 27 screws and treated two infections — one in the injured leg and a small abscess on the sole of his uninjured left hind hoof.

“Today we will focus on further diagnostics and keeping our patient comfortable,” Richardson said.

Doctors also are keeping watch for any signs of laminitis, a potentially fatal disease sometimes brought on by uneven weight balance.

A major concern centers on the infection in the right rear pastern joint — located above the hoof that was shattered into more than 20 pieces. While most of the fractured bones have healed, the joint that connects the long and short pastern bones remains problematic.

Barbaro’s recovery had been going smoothly until this recent series of setbacks. Saturday’s surgery lasted three hours, and Richardson replaced the hardware that had been inserted into the leg the day after the Preakness.

“He’s facing tough odds, and his condition is guarded,” Richardson said.

Owner Roy Jackson said the sudden changes in Barbaro’s condition made this a tough week.

“We’ve been concerned all along,” Jackson said today. “It’s just one of those things. It’s very difficult to climb the mountain when something like that happened.”

I think there is new information above, the most critical being the notion that he really does face tough odds. I will try to get an update from Peter later, but I am also not going to bug him (too much) for it. My plan, head down to the Whip for a couple of Tetleys (and that’s not tea) a little later!